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Gardeners Swap-shop

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Chris Vallance | 00:00 UK time, Sunday, 20 January 2008

Vegetable gardeners know that, in the bloated months of summer, nature's bounty can turn to a surfeit of produce; produce that often ends up as a biological time capsule at the back of the refrigerator, mouldering in boxes on doorsteps, or worst of all forced upon unwilling family, meal after meal after meal.. But a new website Vegexchange.com aims to solve this problem by enabling growers to swap surplus produce.

I spent a very entertaining afternoon with James from Vegexchange and Ian from the splendid One Tree Hill allotments.. Thanks also to Rodney Barker of the LSE and to Bill Vorley of IIED for their thoughtful musings on the wider meaning of it all.

There's something magical about growing your own veg. As Bacon said of gardening (and possibly allotmenteering too), "it is the purest of human pleasures; it is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man; without which buildings and palaces are but gross handy-works" The half dead supermarket rosemary currently browning in the family windowbox is sadly no substitute.

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